Just outside my window, the Italian sky meanders through a hilltop of cypresses, stopping every so often to shoot the breeze. I roll my chair back to look at it the way some writers light up cigarettes or top off their mugs of tea; the sky is my compulsive creative whim. It’s also my anchor.
Home since 2007
I live in central Italy, half a globe and many years away from my childhood in Texas. Instead of fried okra, we eat fried olives. My daughters go to Italian schools, and we all double over laughing when I try to teach them to say “Howdy, y’all!” Yet when I look at the stars, I see the same constellations that I first glimpsed from fields of Indian paintbrush. I know that the moon only pauses here to say hello on its ride west, and in the daylight, clouds smuggle in molecules of Texas Lake Country as souvenirs.
Truthfully, my heart lives in pieces all over the world—under tin roofs in Mexico and straw ones in South Africa, tucked among marketplace stalls in Peru and Spain, carried on the wind through the Scottish Highlands and down glacier-clear streams in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve got this whole colorful, spinning planet of ours under my skin. The more I get to know of her stories, her people, her tastes and sights and traditions, the clearer my image of heaven becomes. I’ve heard that there’s no cure for the travel bug. That’s just fine with me.
My travels come up in my writing from time to time, but I discovered long ago—to equal parts disappointment and relief—that I am not a travel blogger. Instead, the stories I most want to share with you are rooted in faith, relationships, and the learning curves that make an ordinary life anything but.
I want to show you the shit-strewn, hope-drenched mess of my journey away from fundamentalist patriarchy and toward a God of love, how I am still and forever spelunking grace.
I want to include you in the process of learning to mother my girls with creativity and intention, to celebrate these two vivacious, extraordinary little people entrusted to me.
I want to tell you about the husband I love, the marriage we’ve been carving from the ups and downs of the last ten years, and the miracle-studded roller coaster of being a freelancer married to an entrepreneur.
I want to invite you with me into the alternating states of wonder, hilarity, frustration, and delight that make up the expat life.
I want to swap stories about the creative process, not just as it applies to writing but also as it applies to life—the hard, wide-awake work of prioritizing, nurturing our identities, and doing brave things.
I want to spot the common molecules in our lives and anchor myself there, in the ever-shifting panorama that connects my childhood in Texas to my adulthood in Italy to the place and time you occupy in the world as you read this.
Thanks for being here.
P.S. – Amazon links on my site are affiliate links, which means I make a small percentage if you buy something. This in no way changes what I choose to write about, only how many superfluous coffees I can buy at the end of the month. Just so you know (and so the legal Powers That Be are kept happy). As you were.